Columbia Students on Maryland Teams Proposed for Elimination
State's flagship university proposed cuts include swimming and track and field.
Elena Donald, as a standout swimmer at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, was recruited by several college programs.
As a member of the Retriever Aquatic Club, she attracted attention from Notre Dame, Brown, Penn, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Cal Poly.
But the Columbia resident decided to attend the University of Maryland, where she is a sophomore on the swim team.
Now Donald is facing the elimination of her sport after the 2011-12 academic year.
A commission at the university earlier this month proposed the elimination of several athletic programs, including men's and women's swimming.
Donald, who was 18th in the 50-free in the ACC championships as a freshman, is not sure what she will do if swimming is cut, according to her mother, Nancy Bogage.
"They don't know whether to stay or go," Bogage told Columbia Patch about the possibility of swimmers transferring to other schools. "They are a close team. It was completely out of the blue. They have no previous knowledge there was any threat. It is very disruptive."
Donald is on a partial scholarship for swimming and is a biology major.
Maryland announced it would honor scholarships of athletes on teams that are facing elimination.
"But that is not the point," Bogage said, adding that her daughter enjoys going to school at College Park.
So would she consider transferring to another school to compete in swimming?
"That is hard to say. She really loves Maryland. It depends what her friends (on the team) do," her mother said.
Donald is not the only athlete from Columbia who is on a team facing elimination in College Park.
Other student-athletes with Maryland teams that may be cut, according to the school's athletic website, include:
Cara Gsell (Wilde Lake), a sophomore on the competitive cheer team.
Yao Adantor (Reservoir), a sophomore on the men's track team.
Craig Morgan (River Hill), a junior on the men's track team.
Junior Moriah Young (McDonogh School) of Columbia is on the women's track team.
Katie Ermakova (Wilde Lake), a freshman on the women's water polo team.
Colin Stang (Long Reach), a sophomore on the men's swimming team.